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Libertarian Party of Kentucky, others challenge deadline for statement of candidacy

By Carrie Bradon | Apr 24, 2019

COVINGTON, Ky. (Legal Newsline) – Third-party candidates in Kentucky allege two bills regarding the filing for the statement of candidacy are unconstitutional and are seeking relief to prohibit their enforcement.

John Kyle Sweeney, the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and others filed a complaint on April 11 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Kentucky against Boone County Clerk and Chair of the Boone County Board of Elections Justin Crigler and others seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

The plaintiffs, all Libertarian Party candidates or potential candidates, are challenging recent changes to the commonwealth's ballot access regime that was passed by the 2019 General Assembly. 

The plaintiffs allege two bills - House Bill 114 and Senate Bill 60 - violated constitutional limitations on filing deadlines for third parties. The two bills changed the deadline for statement of candidacy to "'first Friday following the first Monday in January,'” the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants have violated their First Amendment rights and the defendants "abused the authority of their respective offices and, while acting under color of law and with knowledge of plaintiffs’ established rights, used their offices to violate their First and 14th Amendment rights," the suit states.

The plaintiffs are seeking to prohibit the enforcement of ballot access laws, costs of the litigation, attorneys' fees and other relief deemed fit. The plaintiffs are represented by Christopher Wiest of Crestview Hills, Kentucky; Thomas Bruns of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Robert A. Winter Jr. of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky case number 2:19-CV-00046

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